Following their second Family Café event in mid-October, which was held virtually with local grassroots organizers Cleveland Parent Leadership Action Network (Cle-PLAN), the Cleveland Transformation Alliance team is doubling down on their efforts to listen, engage and shift programming based on open dialogue with the families they serve.

“We’re listening to what families want,” said CTA executive director Meghann Marnecheck, “and working to find ways to better reflect the culture and programming available at schools” on the MyCleSchool.org website.  We know that what makes a school community special is about more than just state test scores and graduation rates, and we hope to share the “story” of each school in response to parent requests for more detailed school information. Principals are being asked to complete a survey that will be used to update their school’s listing with information about before/aftercare, advanced placement classes, career tech and other special programming that would be of interest to decision-makers.

In addition, the updates to MyCleSchool.org site listings may include information about community partnerships at each school, wrap-around services, programming for exceptional learners, as well as sports and other extracurricular activities.

While many of these programs and services have been affected by COVID-19 limitations, parents are still eager to know what’s possible for their students when life returns to “normal.” Another insight gained from the Family Café community conversations is a mutual respect between parents and teachers, who are partners in the virtual education model that Cleveland Metropolitan School District has decided to continue through the end of the year.

“It’s powerful to hear parents talk about the way Cleveland teachers are bending over backward to stay connected with their children and make this work,” said Marnecheck. Now more than ever, parents are also leaning on each other for mutual support and information as they try to keep up with ever-changing information and the added challenges of technology and pandemic childcare.

Cleveland Transformation Alliance sees their Family Café sessions, the online Family Resource Center, community partnerships, and the growing Ambassador Training Program as a network of support that will continue to evolve in response to family and community needs. To stay informed about these and other upcoming activities, join the Cleveland Transformation Alliance community on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to one of our email lists (link below) for the most up-to-date information.